christmas circa 1869

I love this annual Dallas area holiday family event which is scheduled for next weekend.   LLELA is hosting A Homestead Christmas on Saturday, December 11, 2010 from noon to 3 pm.

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning AreaLLELA’s front gate is situated at the junction of Jones Street and N. Kealy Avenue in Lewisville, TX.   The winter hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 7 am – 5 pm.   Entrance is $5 per person with kids 5 and under free.

My family and I attended last year and had a really good time. It created some family memories for us while stepping back in time at the log cabin in the woods of Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.

A Homestead Christmas at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area

There is no additional fee for this event. Once you are parked, the Homestead is a short hike  through the woods.

LLELA path to Homestead log cabin

The trails are wide open and great for the kids to run ahead and explore.   In past years I have negotiated the path with a stroller with no trouble.   The distance to the log cabin homestead is less than 1/2 mile.

LLELA log cabin homestead from trail

If you peek through the trees, you can see the homestead log cabin area which consists of two cabins and a smoke house.   The larger cabin is the 1869 Minor-Porter Log Home which was quite large and fancy for it's time.

cooking over the fire in log cabin

LLELA staff and volunteers were there to welcome us with hot spiced cider cooked over the cabin's fire.   There were also other holiday treats that would have been enjoyed during the times of the original homestead.   We tried the candied orange rinds.

Candied Orange Rinds

I really liked them, but the boys decided they preferred candy from the present.   They didn't seem to mind cookies from the late 1800s.

Homestead Christmas Cookies

In the smaller cabin which also has a dirt floor, the boys took part in the craft.   They made a toy that might have been a Christmas gift in Homestead days “ an animated horse.   When the paper spins the horse appears to move.

Homemade toy from LLELA's Homestead Christmas

One of the things I find fascinating is how they used to keep bugs off the table.   Check out the multi-layer bowls at the bottom of these table legs.

LLELA table leg bowls

The outer ring was filled with water creating an elaborate insect trap.

A Homestead Christmas at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area also featured music, additional crafts and wildlife tree trimming.   Here is a video the staff at LLELA made about last year’s event…I see some familiar faces:

Overall, great fun for today from a 1869 perspective.


  1. you always have such fun ideas (esp. for mom’s of boys)

    my boys would love that- thanks for sharing Holly! my bigs boys think they are warriors!

    kinda reminds me of the LBJ Ranch down in Johnson City. have you ever been there?

  2. Oh how much fun! When I lived in the area we would always do the shows at Old City Park. There next Family Past Day is Sunday, December 19, 2010 Event Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Free Admission for everyone! December’s theme is
    Christmas Classics  Throughout the day, staff and volunteers will be reading Christmas scenes from classic children's books. How did Laura Ingalls and Anne Shirley celebrate Christmas? Discover the Village in its holiday finery and make a Christmas cracker for your holiday celebration.

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